Starting an online business from home is an extremely tempting idea with many enticing perks – choose your hours, ditch your hour-long commute for a commute to your living room, and more! But before you decide to ‘lock-in’ the idea, there are probably several questions lingering in your mind about what kind of home-based business you’d like to try. Well, continue reading because we will address your concerns so that by the end of the article, you will be closer to deciding to start your home business.
Before You Get Started
It’s essential to be aware that there are many different options and a variety of different areas when it comes to starting a successful business from home. Furthermore, it is also important to find the type of business that fits best with your skillset; this will make it so much easier to put in the hours and enjoy running your online business.
Thirdly, and something that we certainly can’t recommend enough is the creation of a business plan. Your business plan is the blueprint and foundation of your business, and building without foundation will yield shaky and unstable results. As you continue to read further into this article, we will share some vital information that you should include in your business plan.
The Top Five Things To Consider
1. Your Talents and Skills
Let’s start by assessing your talents and skills; take a piece of paper and start writing down a list of things that you are good at and enjoy. Go ahead and write as many as you wish, and don’t worry about listing too many, as we will narrow down your ideas later on. Also, don’t be afraid to ask close friends and family for their contributions to the list too, second opinions are convenient after all. This list is crucial because you will use this list to decide which of your talents and skills you can use for your online business.
Sure, you can ignore this step and pick a random business idea and run with it, but chances are if you choose something that you enjoy doing, which you also happen to be good at, you will excel quicker and your home-based business will be more successful.
2. Generate Business Ideas
Now that you have a list of things that you enjoy doing and you are good at, it’s time to decide which talents you’re going to utilize for your business. To properly do this, we should first look at some of the best home businesses and then decide where your talents are best suited.
Think about the last time you watched a video online on YouTube; for example, there was probably an ad somewhere in the video which you either choose to skip or watch. These ads are placed there as a monetization strategy.
When ad revenue is generated from the audience clicking on the advertisement, the author of the video gets a sizable cut as commission. Do any of your talents make for good entertainment? If so, then here’s one option – create entertaining videos and monetize them with ads!
If you like the idea of promoting products and services, whether it’s through an article, product review, or comparison, you might want to consider affiliate marketing. Getting started with affiliate marketing is easy! You don’t need an inventory, start-up costs are marginal at most, and there are plenty of affiliate partnership opportunities out there. All you need is a website, YouTube channel or social media following, and an affiliate partnership. When you promote your partner’s product or service, and it results in a successful sale or conversion, you’ll get a cut as commission.
If you enjoy sharing your unique perspective in the form of engaging, informative, and entertaining written content, then blogging is the right kind of online business for you. As a blogger, you’ll create your blogging website, and keep it up to date with regular content. You’re probably wondering how you can make money from blogging? There are several methods you can use to monetize your blog – you can utilize affiliate marketing to generate commission on potential sales. You may also apply online advertising to get ad revenue from prospective clicks.
Dropshipping is a supply chain management method and business type where the retailer does not keep a physical inventory. Orders are redirected to a manufacturer or wholesaler who ships the purchased goods directly to the customer.
The great thing about dropshipping is its low barrier to entry – given that you don’t need an inventory, all you need to do to set up this type of business is to build a website and pay for marketing. You have to expect low-profit margins and high-volume competition unless you’re lucky enough to find a niche with low saturation. If you do decide to pursue this route, we recommend you do your due diligence and thoroughly research your niche, direct competition, and suppliers.
Digital Information Products can come in different forms, including video, audio, and books. The great thing about this home business type is that it sells information, not physical goods. Therefore you have unlimited ‘stock’ and complete control over your supply chain. This business type should be particularly appealing if you already have a working body of knowledge or expertise in a kind of subject matter.
In essence, chances are, there will be a sizable audience of interested people willing to pay for your expert knowledge. If you decide to go this route, you may want to consider creating a website and populating it with content such as how-to guides, manuals, podcasts, video tutorials, courses, and more. At the moment, online courses are particularly lucrative. E-learning has exploded in popularity and demand over the last years. If you’re looking for a recommendation, this is the way to go.
3. Is Your Idea Suitable for a Home-based Business?
You have already made your list of strengths, interests, and business ideas and reviewed some online business models. The next step is figuring out which business model you want to utilize. While your talents and skills could result in a lucrative business, they might not work for every online business.
It is, therefore, imperative that you ask yourself the crucial question – “Will this idea translate into a successful online business?”. Say you are considering online videos, think about where in your home you can shoot these videos; Do you have privacy? Are you sharing a room with flatmates? You must critique your ideas and ask yourself questions to determine whether your ideas could become viable online businesses.
4. Calculating Time, Profits and Costs.
Let’s be real; you want to start a company to make money, so you need to consider all the elements that will go into the business to make it profitable. Firstly, you need to consider start-up costs. Some companies have a high start-up cost, while others have none. Decide on what you can afford to spend before starting your business, to narrow down the more financially feasible options.
Secondly, always keep in mind that at the beginning of your business, profits won’t be optimal, but eventually, with work and dedication, you will be able to increase them gradually. There are several ways you can maximize your profits from your online business. Find out what people are willing to pay for your product. Factor in how much time it will take you to produce your product and how much resources will cost. If the amount of net income is sufficient enough to hit your target goal, then go ahead.
5. Make a Business Plan
Now you have an idea of possible business ideas and what ones might work for you, you might feel ready to go ahead and create your business. Before you go and do that, ensure that you have created a business plan. A good business plan will keep your business strategy aligned with your goals while assuring you move forward. It keeps you on track and outlines the steps you must employ to achieve your objectives. Creating a business plan might seem stressful and time-consuming, but it doesn’t have to be. You can create a simple business plan, as long as you include the following:
- Business overview – a full description of your business.
- Operational plans – an explanation of how your business will function.
- Market analysis – a summary of your target audience and research into the competition.
- Sales and marketing – outlines of your expected sales and marketing strategy.
- Financial plan – overview of start-up and ongoing expected expenses.
Take a Leap of Faith
Choosing the right business idea is more complicated than it seems, and even with a solid business plan and ample amounts of research and preparation, the idea of running an online home business may still seem uncertain and shaky.
Keep in mind that no business is sure to be a success and will always come with inherent risk. With adequate research and preparation, you can reduce this risk and maximize your chances of having a successful online business. After careful consideration, the next step is to have faith. You deserve to do something you enjoy and be able to make money while doing it, so take that leap of faith, and don’t be afraid to be successful.